Catching up with: Tomas Plekanec (Part 2)
Yeah, I’ve been working out with the Kaberle brothers, Tomas [of the Leafs] and Frantisek [of the Hurricanes]. It just makes things easier and more enjoyable to not do it alone. I’m also heading out soon to join Jaromir Jagr’s annual camp, which I took part in last summer.
What about your buddy Jagr leaving the NHL for Russia? Did you see that one coming?
No, not at all. I was totally shocked. When I spoke to him about it, he even seemed surprised it happened. Obviously, it’s really big news here in the Czech Republic. The media is covering all of his preseason games and reporters are still following him everywhere he goes. It’s a shame for the NHL that he’s gone. Even though he’s 37, in my opinion he’s still one of the best players in the world. I'm convinced he could’ve still dominated in the NHL.
Have you been in touch with any Habs teammates this summer?
I’ve talked to Hammer [Roman Hamrlik] and we’re probably going to skate together soon. I also saw "Huey" [Cristobal Huet] at the NHLPA meetings in Rome this summer. It was good to see him. He is looking forward to his new challenge in Chicago and he was pretty happy, especially with his new contract! I’ve been in touch with Mark Streit, too. We still text each other all the time. Mark bugged me a lot by text when Roger Federer beat a Czech tennis player at the Olympics.
Which rival NHL team do you think improved the most this offseason?
They may have had a tough season last year, but the Lightning made some major moves this summer. They will be better this season and definitely a team to watch.
What do you think of the Canadiens' new acquisitions, Alex Tanguay and Georges Laraque?
That was great to hear. Alex Tanguay is a proven player that will help us in a lot of ways, and he brings us experience too. And what can you say about Laraque, he’s one tough guy. It’s going to be a lot easier to play with him than against him, that’s for sure.
Catching up with: Tomas Plekanec (Part 1)
Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com